A game played primarily in the hands of its quarterbacks was decided by the foot of Joshua Gonzalez.
The Sierra High kicker drilled a 20-yard field goal with 11 seconds left and Bryson Sanders intercepted Chavez’s last-ditch heave, securing a wild 61-58 victory that only a mathematician would appreciate.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Sierra coach Jeff Harbison said.
Go ahead – try to crunch these numbers.
The Timberwolves and Titans played like a TNT blast each time they touched the ball, scoring virtually at will against one another.
The two teams combined for more than 1,100 yards of total offense, 17 touchdowns and two field goals.
The Timberwolves led 35-30 at the intermission, but that was only a precursor for the dramatics in store in the second half.
There were four lead changes and three ties in the third and fourth quarters before Gonzalez’s steady foot sealed Sierra’s second win of the season.
The quarterbacks pushed the numbers higher and higher, attacking through the air as if the defensive backs never left the locker room.
Judging by the look of dismay and confusion painted on Harbison’s face most of the second half, maybe they hadn’t.
The QBs and offensive coordinators took full advantage, emptying the playbook.
Sierra’s Jake Pruitt very likely found his way into program lore Friday night. His 35 completions, six touchdowns and 412 yards are believed to be school records.
Pruitt targeted five receivers. Junior Chris Stevens and senior Bryson Sanders had 11 receptions apiece and teamed to give the Timberwolves an early 28-6 cushion in the first quarter.
Stevens finished with a team-high 163 yards and two touchdowns, including the first punch in this melee. He took a quick swing pass from Stevens, found a seam and jetted up the sideline with the 32-yard score.
Stevens would tack on a 28-yard reception five minutes later to make it 21-6.
Sanders continued his impressive start to the season with 96 receiving yards and touchdowns of 11 and 7 yards.
Hunter Johnson had two touchdowns, as well, including a 10-yard reception on the first play of the fourth quarter that tied the score at 44-all.
Running back Reid Maestas was a non-factor for the first three quarters, but with Chavez’s defense gasping and its depth tested by injury, the bull-dozing back started to find running lanes.
And on a night full of big plays, he provided the game-saving moment.
With the game tied at 58-58 and Sierra staring at a fourth-and-1 at the Chavez 12, Harbison called for the Jumbo package.
He called for Maestas, who took the direct snap and pushed forward for 6 yards and a first down.
A holding penalty on the next play would set the Timberwolves back to the 14, but Maestas carried the ball twice more for 12 yards.
On fourth-and-goal, Gonzalez split the uprights with his second field goal of the game.
The Titans appeared outclassed at the start, falling behind 28-6 in the first quarter.
Quarterback Julius Davila engineered the game’s first momentum swing, guiding Chavez on a 31-7 spurt. He finished 26 of 36 for 470 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions.
He had some help, though, from a cagey set of receivers.
On more than one occasion, a Titan receiver beat tight one-on-one coverage or a double team with a tipped ball.
Perry Reader reeled in a pass that tipped off Sanders’ hand in the back of the end zone, knotting the game at 58-58 with 5:18 left.
Darin Gentry proved to be the game’s most dangerous player.
The Chavez wide receiver had six catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns. His 91-yard kickoff return in the fourth made it 51-51, and he connected on four extra-points in the second half after Chavez had gone 0-fer in the first half.